India has the potential to become a one-stop sourcing destination for brands and retailers from Asean, said textile minister Smriti Irani at an event on Tuesday. Opportunities exist for textile manufacturers from the 10-nation bloc to invest in India and cater to the domestic market as well as exports, the minister added.
Irani, who was addressing a seminar on ‘India-Asean weaving textile relations’, said India has strengths in production and exports of almost all kinds of textiles and apparel including all handloom and handicraft products that demonstrate the unique skills of the country’s weavers and artisans.
“In the year 2016, India exported textiles and apparel worth $1,203 million to Asean and imported textiles and apparel worth $546 million from Asean,” Irani said, adding that this was just a testimonial to the way forward. “With ability to produce a diverse range of products, India has the potential to become the one-stop sourcing destination for brands and retailers of Asean nations,” the minister said.
“I am hopeful that this is just one of the many areas where we can participate and leverage our strengths,” Irani observed. Earlier during his address, textiles secretary Anant Kumar Singh said India was strong and competitive across the entire value chain starting from raw materials to finished products. He added, “Though India has the unique advantage of having the presence of the entire textile value chain, its most exported items to Asean consisting of cotton fibre, cotton yarn and fabrics have not grown to the desired extent. This makes it evident that we have not been able to explore and leverage the strengths of our textiles industry to the fullest.”